CrossFit, Inc. licenses the CrossFit name to gyms for an annual fee and certifies trainers. Besides the standard two-day "Level 1 Trainer Course", specialty seminars include gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman, running and endurance, rowing, kettlebells, mobility and recovery, CrossFit Kids, CrossFit Football, and self-defense and striking. Other specialized adaptations include programs for pregnant women, seniors, and military special operations candidates. Affiliates develop their own programming, pricing, and instructional methods. Many athletes and trainers see themselves as part of a contrarian, insurgent movement that questions conventional fitness wisdom. In addition to performing prescribed workouts, they follow CrossFit's nutrition recommendations, adopting a paleo and/or zone diet.
"CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program, but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of 10 recognized fitness domains," says founder Greg Glassman in the Foundations document. Those domains are cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy.
It was in Glassman's own divorce case, though, that the CrossFit defense arsenal launched its full firepower. Lauren and Greg's marriage hit the rocks in 2009. Lauren became pregnant with twins and could no longer travel to the seminars.Greg, wrapped up with CrossFit, became more and more distant. Rumors of infidelity swirled. Soon the two were living in separate houses. In March 2010, Lauren officially filed for divorce. But the case didn't come to a head until July 2012, when Lauren filed a motion to sell her 50 percent stake in the company to Anthos Capital, a Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm, for $20 million. Glassman, and in short order CrossFit, hit the ceiling.
Book-lovin’ Whole30 eaters should also pick up a copy of my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, and my follow-up recipe book, Ready or Not! Both are packed with new and classic recipes—many of which can’t be found anywhere else. Plus, the vast majority of them are Whole30-compliant! Here’s a downloadable list of the 100+ Whole30 recipes in my first book, and here’s the Recipe Index in my second book, which identifies the 120+ Whole30 friendly dishes contained in its pages.
He also makes a concerted effort to avoid new streams of revenue. (See "CrossFit Doesn't Want Your Money.") CrossFit makes most of its money from training seminars: Every weekend, it certifies hundreds of people as trainers, at $1,000 a pop. It also collects registration fees for the CrossFit Games, royalties from Reebok for CrossFit apparel, and annual affiliate fees. The affiliate fees, which top out at $3,000 a year, are locked in at their original rates. Joshua Newman, who runs a big, successful box called CrossFit NYC, told me he pays just $500 a year.
Glassman reigns over this rampantly growing horde like a tribal chieftain. He now owns 100 percent of CrossFit and answers to no board of directors. Cash tends to race through the company. Until recently, the Glassmans each drew a salary of $750,000 a year; the travel and entertainment budget is in the tens of millions of dollars, and Glassman also spends money on what he calls "brand statements," including a set of $15,000 single-speed Swiss bikes and a $350,000, 1,500-horsepower fully customized 2011 Camaro convertible. (Before our visit to El Borracho, I followed him to a meeting to see about another "brand statement": custom luggage for his senior team, emblazoned with Uncle Pukie.)
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